Science

Democrats want House to pull FISA bill after contradictory tweets from Trump

Democrats want House to pull FISA bill after contradictory tweets from Trump

The Trump administration backs a proposed extension of a surveillance program created to spy on foreign citizens outside the USA, but President Trump himself doesn't sound so insane about it - suggesting in a tweet that the law allowed illegal surveillance of his presidential campaign.

"This so-called "reform" bill was written by the intelligence community, for the intelligence community, which is why it fails to accomplish any meaningful reform to Section 702 or ensure our constitutional right to privacy", Rep. Jerrold Nadler, N.Y., said in a statement.

Just a day prior, the White House offered its support for the reauthorization.

"'House votes on controversial FISA ACT today, '" the president wrote on Twitter Thursday morning, quoting from a segment that ran earlier on Fox News.

"The House-passed bill does absolutely nothing to defend the vast majority of law-abiding Americans from warrantless searches, and in many ways it expands the federal government's ability to spy on Americans".

It's the foreign intelligence surveillance act that was approved as a result of 9/11 created to help prevent terrorism. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is threatening to do "everything he can" to ensure it doesn't pass unless significant changes are made.

But less than 12 hours later, Trump suggested he wanted the FISA law terminated, tweeting it was used by the Obama administration to "badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign".

And so far, we don't even know why Trump appears to have reversed himself, or at least the White House position which presumably got it from Trump.

Before approving the extension of the law, the House voted 233 to 183 to reject an amendment that proposed a series of overhauls.

"The Administration urges the House to reject this amendment and preserve the useful role FISA's Section 702 authority plays in protecting American lives", a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders read.




The foreign intelligence surveillance act allows intelligence agencies to spy on suspected foreign terrorists.

Codify the end of "about" collection, an invasive type of surveillance that was heavily criticized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for privacy violations. Mulvaney won't fire official who sued him MORE (R-Mich.), imposing restrictions created to protect Americans who are swept up in government spying on foreigners overseas will also get a vote.

There is also no evidence Trump or his campaign were illegally surveilled, or "wiretapped", as he grossly claimed early past year, and was unable to prove.

His arguments echoed concerns that requiring a warrant even in cases directly related to national security - rather than other types of criminal investigations - would put up unsafe barriers to communication between USA intelligence agencies.

The president then issued another tweet in which he appeared to endorse reauthorizing the program despite his complaints.

"A vote for this (Nunes) bill is a vote against the Fourth Amendment", said Jason Pye, FreedomWorks' vice president of legislative affairs.

Trump's tweets drew criticism from a top democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees.

UPDATE: Trump responded to pleas from House Republicans and members of his own national security team seeking clarification of this morning's tweet.

Some Republicans have speculated that the Obama administration learned of former national security adviser Michael Flynn's calls with Russia's ambassador to the US through Section 702.


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